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Use Best Practices for Requesting & Fulfilling Out-of-State Abuse & Neglect Registry Checks

The Adam Walsh Act of 2006 requires that if a prospective foster parent lived in another state within the last five years, their current state must check the child abuse & neglect registry from their prior state(s) before licensing them as foster parents. All adults living in the home of a prospective foster parent must submit to this so-called “Adam Walsh check.”

Inconsistent processes across states for fulfilling these requests are putting children at risk, and cause some of the most significant delays in licensing foster parents. In jurisdictions that do not financially support relative placements until they are fully licensed, this delay translates into weeks or months of grandmothers struggling to make ends meet while caring for their grandchildren.

If every child welfare system followed the best practices below, it would eliminate most of these inefficiencies.

Best Practices for Making Requests

Best Practices for Fulfilling Requests